Vegetable Torta with Fresh Basil
Prep time: Best made 1 to 2 days ahead, if refrigerated |
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 large yellow onion, chopped
• 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
• 3 zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
• 3 yellow summer squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
•1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch thick strips
• 6 large eggs
• 1/4 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• About 3 cups day-old bread, in 1/2 inch cubes
• 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into chunks
• 2 cups (6 to 8 ounces) shredded Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese
Preheat the oven to 350ºF, if baking immediately. Brush the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan with oil. To prevent leaking, wrap the outside of the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, and peppers and saute until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, and basil in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the bread cubes and the cheeses.
Add the sauteed vegetables to the bread mixture and stir with a large rubber spatula to combine. Transfer to the prepared pan and pack the mixture tightly. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 1 hour, until firm to the touch, puffed, and golden brown. Serve warm or cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.